Investigation of contact acoustic nonlinearities on metal and composite airframe structures via intensity based health monitoring

P. Q. Romano, S. C. Conlon, E. C. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Nonlinear structural intensity (NSI) and nonlinear structural surface intensity (NSSI) based damage detection techniques were improved and extended to metal and composite airframe structures. In this study, the measurement of NSI maps at sub-harmonic frequencies was completed to provide enhanced understanding of the energy flow characteristics associated with the damage induced contact acoustic nonlinearity mechanism. Important results include NSI source localization visualization at ultra-subharmonic (nf/2) frequencies, and damage detection results utilizing structural surface intensity in the nonlinear domain. A detection metric relying on modulated wave spectroscopy was developed and implemented using the NSSI feature. The data fusion of the intensity formulation provided a distinct advantage, as both the single interrogation frequency NSSI and its modulated wave extension (NSSI-MW) exhibited considerably higher sensitivities to damage than using single-sensor (strain or acceleration) nonlinear detection metrics. The active intensity based techniques were also extended to composite materials, and results show both NSSI and NSSI-MW can be used to detect damage in the bond line of an integrally stiffened composite plate structure with high sensitivity. Initial damage detection measurements made on an OH-58 tailboom (Penn State Applied Research Laboratory, State College, PA) indicate the techniques can be transitioned to complex airframe structures achieving high detection sensitivities with minimal sensors and actuators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-200
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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